Branding is, now more than ever, crucial in the success of a business or individual.
The difference, in this digital age where everyone and everything is connected, between who people will do business with and what products they will buy, lies in the strength of the brand.
This month, I am sharing my thoughts and ideas on branding so everyone can understand the importance of becoming a brand and the impact it can have in the world.
You see, your personal brand will set you apart from others. The world will understand what your skills are and you will become an expert and then an authority in your field and industry. Setting yourself apart through building your brand, will ensure you attract the right opportunities and make more money.
It is, unfortunately, not only your hard work that will make the impact, but how you relate that into your personal brand. Through your personal brand, others will feel they know you and feel they have a relationship with you and once your brand is trusted, you will attract many opportunities.
Related: The quick and dirty on marketing, advertising and branding
The phases of creating a brand, whether it is personal or product-based brand, are the same:
1. Create the brand
This phase includes your logos, tag-lines, photos and any element that you will use to communicate on behalf of the brand. You will use these elements in all your future communication, your website/s and social media, so it is important to make sure that you spend a sufficient amount of time doing this.
Often people are discouraged, because this phase costs money and they do not make money yet. Luckily, there are many free or cheap on-line tools available that can help.
2. Create awareness of the brand
This is the next step after creating brand elements such as logos, websites and labels. Now you must create the awareness of your brand.
In this phase, advertising and PR are the typical activities, with the objective of getting your audience interested in what you, your company and/or your product offers. Using the right words and colours congruent with your brand is important. This will build trust and attract people to you or your brand. People will do business with brands they trust and this phase is crucial in building trust.
3. Create ways to interact with your audience
After phase one and two, finding ways to establish communication and feedback from your audience is important.
Events, webinars, newsletters, social media profiles, and so much more, are all ways you will establish communication and interaction. Many brands make the mistake of doing this before they have created the brand and awareness. This is the last phase in branding that cannot be skipped, and only after this phase will people be willing to part with their money.
Once they spend their hard-earned money on your product or when they want to do business with you, you know you have done a good job with phase 1-3.
Your next step will be to create a community of loyal followers that will become raving fans. Those that will invite your products into their lives, without you having to force yourself into the lives of your customers.
Related: The economics of branding
Benefits of creating brands
- Brands are more valuable than non-brands and sometimes more valuable than the company who owns or created them.
- Brands have influence over the behaviour of the market they serve, making them powerful.
- You can charge more when you have a brand.
- You can make an impact to the world when your brands are meaningful and successful.
- Trusted brands will find it easier to do business in the future.
Benefits of a personal brand
This is the perception you have created in the minds of others. Brand perception is always real in the eyes of the outside world.
Perception will be formed by:
- The words you use
- The clothes you wear
- The things you do / don’t do
Notice how different products look different, use different words and how they communicate differently and understand that it is exactly the same with your personal brand. Be true to yourself, as fakes will be detected. Creating your own winning personal brand is very difficult for most, if not all, people. Get someone you trust to help you. Decide what you want your personal brand to be, before you spend money on it. Live your brand, be your brand and you can make an impact on the world.